In Chapter 2 of "1984," what is the bad news delivered through the tele-screen?
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Chapter 2 opens with Winston discovering that he did not put away his new diary after having written in it Down With Big Brother, which presages many problems that follow later in the book. The party, meanwhile, announces that "the chocolate ration would be reduced from thirty grams to twenty." Such "bad news" always follows "good news," Winston recognizes, this time the "good news" being that Oceana's forces had a "glorious victory" against their Eurasian enemy. The bad news is ususally true, while the good news fictitious, making a pretense for the bad.
The bad news is that the chocolate ration is being cut from 30 grams to 20 grams.
But the interesting thing about this announcement is that the very next day (in chapter four) the government is praised for raising the chocolate ration to 20 grams. No one seems to question this incongruity. Winston thinks about it, but no one says a word.
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